The Basics of Hotel SEO
How To Get A Good Google Ranking with a great Hotel Marketing Plan
How do I get my hotel’s website on the first page of search engine results pages? This is probably the question that brought you here, right? And if you have done your homework, you already know that the answer is Hotel Search Engine Optimization. Isn’t that a mouthful? That’s why we will stick to Hotel SEO going forward.
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Hotel SEO refers to all the measures taken to push a website to rank on the first page of the organic results of search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. SEO for hotels specifically refers to the techniques employed to rank a hotel’s website page on the first page of search engine results, primarily to drive organic traffic to the website from the search engines.
Hotel SEO works to improve and increase the visibility of a hotel’s website. And with increased visibility comes more bookings, more revenue and robust brand recognition for your hotel, all driven from the site. A brilliant addition to your hotel marketing plan, right?
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The Basics of Hotel Search Engine Optimization
SEO for hotels can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. And even though we are about to discuss some very basic aspects of Hotel SEO, it is important to note that to get the best out of Hotel Search Engine Optimization, involving a professional who already knows the murky waters will give you leverage and superfast results. But before you get there, here are a few aspects of optimizing your hotel’s website that you can work on yourself:
1. The Keywords
The journey of optimizing your hotel’s website begins at the keyword research. Keywords refer to the words or phrases that a user searching for your hotel’s website would use. To improve the ranking of your hotel’s website, these keywords need to be richly used on your site.
But how do you identify the right keywords to work with?
Well, the best way is to use keyword research tools – they are the basic foundation of SEO. There are multiple keyword research tools on the internet to choose from depending on your needs and budgets, with some needing payment while others are free. Some examples of highly versatile tools include SEMRush, Jaaxy, Ubersuggest, Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, Moz Keyword Explorer, and KW finder, among others.
To start you off, list several possible keywords that you think users would use when searching for your hotel’s website, e.g. 5-star hotels in Phuket or Best hotels in Singapore. Type in a keyword phase in either of the tools, and you will get results on how often that keyword is searched as well as related keywords that perform better. You can also choose to find profitable keywords by employing Competitor based Keyword research techniques.
The goal of the keyword research is to identify profitable keywords relevant to your hotel’s products and services that are frequently searched – also known as short-tail keywords – as well as long-tail keywords, that is, keywords that will uniquely identify your hotel’s website so that it stands out from the competition.
2. The Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, and URLs
A webpage title is the clickable headline displayed on search engines such as Google that direct users to your website. Use the keywords identified in the titles of your webpages to make your website easily recognizable. Ideal page titles should:
- Be easy to understand
- Contain an average of 50 – 60 characters
- Be as unique and informative as possible
The phrases present under these clickable headlines displayed are called meta descriptions. These descriptions are only displayed by the search engine if the phrase searched by a prospect is present in the meta description. A well-curated meta description should:
- Be less than 159 characters
- Clearly and concisely describe the content available on the webpage
The purpose of meta descriptions is to convince users that the information they need is contained on the webpage and thus entice them to click on the title and visit the webpage.
The URL refers to the address of each page on your hotel’s website. To rank highly, you must develop clean and clear URLs that are easily understood by search engines. A clean URL should:
- Include at least one relevant keyword
- Accurately describe the content of the webpage in the least characters possible
- Have the words separated with hyphens, and absolutely no underscores
3. The Copy Writing
The first 100 words on your hotel’s website homepage are critical. This is what will sell your hotel to both users and search engines at first glance.
It is, therefore, crucially important to make sure that this copy is emotive and eloquently written. Your primary keywords should be naturally incorporated into the copy, and the content should be precise and provide complete and relevant information to users.
This should also be replicated on all the available copy on different webpages ensuring that only accurate, timely and grammatically correct content is displayed. Copy writing is not a task that should be taken lightly, and therefore it is advisable to seek professional service for the best results.
4. The Visual Appeal
Visually appealing images and videos on a hotel website is a must-have if you’re looking to rank your hotel’s website highly. And you may think this is for aesthetic purpose only, but no, it plays a role in hotel search engine optimization as well.
For a hotel, ranking highly on the image page of search engines is just as important. Also, search engines tend to rank content with images that can be displayed in the meta descriptions highly. With increasing user demands, your prospective customers would like to see what awaits them before committing to becoming a client. It’s only imperative that you show them the best version of what awaits them.
5. The Blog on your Website
Unlike yesteryears, having a blog is not an option! Search engines love websites that give value to users. And that is where blogging comes in. There are myriad topics relevant to hotels and vacations that you can publish articles on your hotel’s website to provide valuable and actionable information to users about.
Publishing articles allows you to target specific keywords in your content to boost your chances of organic ranking. Blogging also provides different avenues to gain traffic. E.g. publishing articles such as “5 must-do vacation activities in the Bahamas” or “when is the best time to visit the Bahamas?” will attract users who are planning to visit the Bahamas and that is how they will come to know about your hotel.
When it comes to blogging, the magic formula that will yield the best results for your hotel marketing plan is QUALITY, RELEVANCE, and CONSISTENCY. If you decide to publish an article once or twice every week or month, stick to that. If you choose to do a series of short publications on a specific topic, deliver that. Develop a content calendar to guide you on the type and topic of content to be developed, as well as when and how often they should be published.
There You Have Hotel SEO!
Well, how basic does everything you have read so far sound? Probably not so basic, right? This is why we already mentioned that as you embark on SEO for your hotel’s website, you should consult with professionals who have experience with hotel SEO techniques that work best.
Together, we can draw up a custom hotel marketing plan that will take into account the resources needed, the techniques to be employed, and how the hotel search engine optimization can complement other marketing techniques that are already in place. We are such professionals.
We have successfully helped more than 50 hotels and resorts rank on the first page of Google with more than a thousand keywords. Obviously, this goes beyond luck, and we can help your hotel rank next. Contact us today by filling out the form below, to learn how we can bring in more revenue and create a solid brand image for your hotel using our reliable and result-driven hotel SEO strategies.